33 Fun Facts About Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Firsts:

  • 1657: Newport operated the first ferry service in the nation.
  • 1673: The White Horse Tavern is built, the oldest tavern building in continuous use in the United States.
  • 1687: Newport was the first city to pass a traffic ordinance.
  • 1699: The Quaker Meeting House is built, Rhode Island’s oldest house of worship.
  • 1716: Schoolhouse in Portsmouth is built, and today is the oldest schoolhouse in the United States.
  •  Newport has the oldest military unit in continuous service under its original charter from 1741.
  • 1745: The Redwood Library & Athenaeum is established, the oldest circulating library in continuous use in the United States.
  • 1750: Newport was the site of the first duplex house, located at 57 Farewell Street.
  • 1758: The Newport Mercury was founded, the oldest newspaper in continuous operation in the United States. (EDIT: Closed)
  • 1759: Touro Synagogue built in Newport, the oldest in synagogue the United States.
  •  1774: Newport hosted the first circus in the country.
  • May 4, 1776: Newport, the colonial capital of Rhode Island, was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare its independence from England.
  • 1781: Newport held the first notable celebration of George Washington’s birthday, hosted by Count De Rochambeau of France.
  • 1803: The first gas-illuminated streetlights in United States were lit on Newport’s Pelham Street.
  • 1819: BankNewport founded, the oldest mutual savings bank in the United States.
  • 1854: The first New York Yacht Club Regatta, the oldest sailing regatta in the country.
  • 1857-1911: Ida Lewis, the first female lighthouse keeper, operated the Lime Rock Light. Her many saves were legendary and she was visited by President Ulysses S. Grant and Vice-President Schuyler Colfax.
  • 1866: Newport was the site of the first public roller skating rink in the United States, housed inside a see-and-be-seen resort hotel, the Atlantic House.
  • 1866: Newport had the first photograph taken by electric light.
  • 1886: Newport was home to the first International Polo Match.
  • 1884: Newport is home to the oldest US Naval War College.
  • 1895: Newport hosted golf’s first Amateur Championship at Newport Country Club.
  • 1895: Newport hosted golf’s first US Open at Newport Country Club.
  • 1895: Newport was home to the first auto race.
  • 1899: Newport was home to the first National Lawn Tennis Championships.
  • 1904: Newport was the site of the first automobile arrest in the country when the offender was charged with driving 15 miles per hour.
  • 1930-1983: The prestigious America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport, was raced in the waters off Newport.
  • 1975: The Cliff Walk became the first designated National Recreation Trail in New England.
  • 1995 and 1996: Newport hosted the first two years of the ESPN X-Games.
  • Newport was the site of the first airplane passenger line in the United states between Newport and New York City.
  • Newport is home to the oldest typewriter in America which can be found at the Newport Historical Society.
  • Trinity Church has the only three-tiered wineglass pulpit in its original location in the United States.
  • Newport has more colonial homes in use than any other location in the United States.

Cue the music!

Newport tips:


If you’re looking for some great spots to dine, we recommend hitting up local favorites such as Tavern on Broadway with their Buck-A-Shuck Wednesdays, The Fifth Element, or The Deck on Waites Wharf, the perfect waterfront dining destination with live music Thursday – Sunday.

Want to dine where Newport eats? Head on up to Bellevue Avenue and visit La Forge Casino Restaurant. The La Forge Casino Restaurant has served the community as a famous local establishment for years.  Located on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, La Forge has long been a local staple providing a menu, style, and friendly atmosphere that reflects our commitment to an exceptional dining experience.

Looking for our amazing food trucks? Check out the Amazo Pizza & Gelato truck, the La Costa Lobster & Tacos truck, the Cluck Truck!


The party never stops at Clarke Cooke HouseThe Deck, Malt, The Fifth Element, and Tavern on Broadway!

Don’t miss:

No trip to Newport is complete without a visit to the Audrain Automobile Museum.

The Audrain Automobile Museum has a mission to preserve and present automotive history while connecting and engaging with other non-profits and the community as a whole. Established in 2014, the Museum transformed the historic Audrain Building into a captivating display floor, fit specifically for our cultural needs. The Museum has access to collections with of over 300 cars, allowing for three fresh and unique exhibits per year. Ranging from Brass Era pre-War cars to Supercars of the 2000s, the Museum is dedicated to entertaining all generations and stylistic preferences.

America’s love affair with automobiles is intrinsic and Newport’s role is essential. The Museum engages and educates the Aquidneck Island community through car events and other nonprofit activities to further its position within automotive history. As the Museum continues to grow, so does its status as a must stop destination for both car enthusiasts and Newport visitors alike.

Taste the flavor:

Swing by the Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co., sample some of their award winning creations, grab a bite at the food truck that pull up every weekend and enjoy some great live music.

Founded in 1999 by four college friends, Newport Storm Brewery was the original production craft brewery in Rhode Island. They created more than 100 distinctive beers while keeping things local and authentic. From their flagship Hurricane Amber Ale to seasonal brews made with Rhode Island grown ingredients, to beers aged in rum barrels, the brewery has been in the vanguard of craft brewing for nearly 20 years.

In 2006 the crew began distilling craft spirits. They were the first distillery in Rhode Island in 135 years and currently produce whiskey, a single barrel rum, and an overproof white rum.

Dress for success:

Newport’s former First Lady Deborah Winthrop owns the premier women’s boutique on Aquidneck Island with hip and chic clothing, bra sized swimwear and a the largest selection of lingerie around. Deborah and her staff are all expert bra fitters. The right bra will make you look and feel 10 years younger and 10lbs lighter!! Swing by and see for yourself.

Want to realize your inner Queen? Head to Bellevue Avenue and visit X&O Boutique for luxury women’s wear with unique and classic collections from Milan to Miami.

Get in Shape:

Pulse Newport is an award winning interval training focused bootcamp style gym offering HIIT, Spin, Bootcamp and Barre classes at two different locations. Elite Memberships include everything they offer. They have over a dozen certified, amazing trainers ready to give you the best workout in Newport.

Open Gym, Peloton Treadmill, Stairmasters, Barre Studio & Classes, HIIT Studio & Classes, Rowing Classes, Spin Classes, Infrared Sauna, Personal Training, Stretching Area, Dumbells to 110 lbs, Member Challenges, Body Composition Analysis, FitCamp Weight Loss Lean Muscle Building Program

Getting here:

Traveling in from New York City? Don’t forget about our friends at Tradewind Aviation and their super affordable shared charter flights from White Plains to Newport Airport.

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